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YoPro “Meet the Agencies” Event

Event Panelists

OCPRSA’s Young Professionals Group (Yo-Pro) hosted the “Meet the Agencies” event on Thursday, May 30, featuring leaders from top Orange County marketing and PR agencies. This event at California Southern University in Costa Mesa, Calif. was intended to advise those starting their careers in public relations and marketing.

Panelists were Kristin Daher, president and chief storyteller at Powerhouse Communications; Dan Nasitka, principal Rocketeer at Rocket Science Media Group; Linda Martin, partner at Westbound Communications; and Erin Warady, senior vice president at Idea Hall. The panel was moderated by Teri Sawyer, chief visibility officer of T&Co.

Here are the top five takeaways from the event:

Writing, writing and writing.

Did we mention Writing?

This is the most important skill a public relations professional needs to be successful. An upbeat attitude and willingness to form relationships and take risks (and fail) also help.

Public relations has many different meanings

The definition of “public relations” varied among our panelists. Nasitka grabs his “storytelling hat” when determining what a client’s message is and how to best share that message. Daher emphasizes reputation management. Martin referred back to the second word of the job itself: “PR has been – and always will be – about relationships. No matter what the latest fad is in the creative industry, you always want to be the kind of person that people want to work with.”

Develop skills and knowledge beyond ‘PR’ 

Media relations is only a part of the job. Marketing, advertising, social media, video, graphic design, photography – all of these fall under the umbrella of this profession. Worried about being too to broad or focused? Don’t. “The industry tends to jump between a focus on specialists and a focus on generalists. With how integrated everything is today, you really need to be a specialist at being a generalist,” Warady said.

7 top tools recommended by these pros

Project Matrix, Twitter, Spotify, industry newsletters, Franklin Covey Time Management System and Flipboard. Your mobile phone is a given!

Leave comfy corporate and jump to an agency

Your corporate/in-house experience can be an asset to an agency. “Emphasize how you lead teams on multiple projects,” Daher suggested. A mentor can help ease the transition, Martin said. “Treat them to coffee. PRSA is great place to meet people and find a mentor.” Nasitka is a big fan of making the move. He started his own agency with two partners two years ago: “It comes down to happiness and fulfillment. It was something I was really passionate about, so I felt like I had to leave and at least try.”

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